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Environment

Post by CivBase on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:25 am

Global Warming/Cooling? Water Contamination? Air Pollution? Low Oil Supply? Deforestation? How bad off do you guys think we are environmentally and what should we do about it? Feel free to add more subjects. I just came up with these off the top of my head.


Myself, I find Global Warming to be a joke. We've experienced one of the worst winters in Iowa this year and have consistently broken low temperature records all over the board. My school is even considering extending the day bay a half hour to account for our snow days. I'm sick of this "Global Climate Change" business; I mean, they can't even decide if the world's getting hotter or colder! Perhaps both? There's a word for that: Seasons.

Our water and air in the US is also great. It's amazing how clear the Boundary Waters are... you can see almost twenty feet deep! Sure, countries like China need some work, but I think we worry way more than we should about our own pollution. We (the US) are fine where we are now.

As for oil... I don't know much about that. I do know, however, that the US is very dependent on oil and needs to look into some other options. Wind? Solar? Nuclear? Ethanol? They all have great perspectives. I also think, however, that the (US) government should stay out of regulating fuel dependency on vehicles and other similar sorts of practices.

In Iowa we plant more trees than we cut down, so I'm not extremely worried about deforestation. I would also say that some significant sized chunks of land do need to be preserved, though, for a variety of reasons.

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Re: Environment

Post by czar on Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:47 am

We shouldn't do a thing.
Well, we should at least to depend on a more abundant fuel source. BECAUSE I WANT MORE SPACE TRAVEL!
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Re: Environment

Post by PiEdude on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:50 am

Well, I'm trying to find a clip from a show that would prove my point I'm going to make perfectly ("A Global Warning?") but people on Youtube are fucking retarded. I keep getting 2012 shit instead.

Anyway, the truth of Global Warming lies in the way oil came to be fossilized. Millions of years ago (I don't remember the exact time frame, I saw this a while ago) organisms living near the surface of the ocean lived off CO2, and did not give off oxygen like modern plants do. I'm not entirely sure how they came to die (FUCKING YOUTUBE!) but I think they said it had something to do with oxygen becoming more common in the atmosphere, and less CO2, as well as the planet cooling because of less CO2.

The Carbon Dioxide filled "bodies" (if you want to call them that) of these microorganisms sank when they died (they may have lived in shallow seas, not oceans, I don't quite remember all the facts, and I already know that's going to affect my argument) pooling together, and slowly fossilizing to become oil.

This would basically mean that vast amounts of CO2 that was once trapped underground, is now being pumped back into the atmosphere. Even if you don't believe in Global Warming, you gotta admit that's just not good.

Also, it had something to do with less white patches of ice reflecting sunlight, and more dark patches of ocean absorbing it, accelerating the effects of Global Warming.
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Re: Environment

Post by Elabajaba on Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:28 am

CivBase wrote:
Myself, I find Global Warming to be a joke. We've experienced one of the worst winters in Iowa this year and have consistently broken low temperature records all over the board. My school is even considering extending the day bay a half hour to account for our snow days. I'm sick of this "Global Climate Change" business; I mean, they can't even decide if the world's getting hotter or colder! Perhaps both? There's a word for that: Seasons.
I don't really believe in Global Warming either, but in Ontario (province in Canada) we've had a warm winter that was a lot shorter than usual.

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Re: Environment

Post by PiEdude on Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:39 am

Aside from North America, 2009 was one of the warmest years on record for most of the world.

(again, tried to find where I saw this from the news site [that was not FOX] but couldn't. DAMN YOU INTERNET!)
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Re: Environment

Post by Ringleader on Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:58 am

PiEdude wrote:Well, I'm trying to find a clip from a show that would prove my point I'm going to make perfectly ("A Global Warning?") but people on Youtube are fucking retarded. I keep getting 2012 shit instead.

Anyway, the truth of Global Warming lies in the way oil came to be fossilized. Millions of years ago (I don't remember the exact time frame, I saw this a while ago) organisms living near the surface of the ocean lived off CO2, and did not give off oxygen like modern plants do. I'm not entirely sure how they came to die (FUCKING YOUTUBE!) but I think they said it had something to do with oxygen becoming more common in the atmosphere, and less CO2, as well as the planet cooling because of less CO2.

The Carbon Dioxide filled "bodies" (if you want to call them that) of these microorganisms sank when they died (they may have lived in shallow seas, not oceans, I don't quite remember all the facts, and I already know that's going to affect my argument) pooling together, and slowly fossilizing to become oil.

This would basically mean that vast amounts of CO2 that was once trapped underground, is now being pumped back into the atmosphere. Even if you don't believe in Global Warming, you gotta admit that's just not good.

Also, it had something to do with less white patches of ice reflecting sunlight, and more dark patches of ocean absorbing it, accelerating the effects of Global Warming.

I thought they did not give off tons of carbon dioxide? Before, microorganisms metabolized off of hydrogen sulfide, and then became intoxicated from elevated oxygen levels in the ocean, so they adapted to metabolizing Co2. But what you said made little sense, when they take in Co2, they release oxygen, and store the carbon in their bodies, and these become hydrocarbons while releasing the oxygen into the atmosphere. This process resulted in the oxidization of a lot of the metals found in the earths crust, that's why in some areas, the soil is reddish colored. Marine photosynthesis is more efficient then the terrestrial version, the oceans produce 70% of oxygen in photosynthesis, even though planktonic blooms are only found in coastal/shallow areas, likewise, the oceans produce most of the worlds Co2.

Plankton blooms are the best thing that can happen in terms of reducing atmospheric Co2 levels, thats why there has been a push for dumping oxidized iron powder into the Indian ocean. Iron oxide increases the rate at which phytoplankton can metabolize Co2.


Last edited by Ringleader on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Environment

Post by PiEdude on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:01 am

Okay, again, this was recalled mostly from memory, so the facts are likely muddled, but the basics remain the same.
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Re: Environment

Post by Ringleader on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:09 am

Yeah, I don't think we can find any credible answers from Al Gore or from Fox News or anywhere else unless we ask a Professor of Biology...

Which I soon will!


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Re: Environment

Post by Gauz on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:09 am

There are some pretty neat ways people have thought of making the earth cooler.

1) Sequestration. Making facilities that absorb CO2 and store it in underground reservoirs.

2) Using boats to spray salt water in the air in order to make the clouds more reflective of the suns ray's. It's a rather cheap methond.

3) Giant lens's in space designed to reflect the suns rays. The most expensive, would cost a couple trillion, so I don't see it happening Razz

4) Reforestation, adding more trees will pull CO2 out of the air.

5) Painting stuff with reflective paint. Simple and cheap, but it'd only cause a local change in temperature. It could also not be to your wanting really...

6) Getting blimbs to spray chemicals into the atmosphere that will cause sun ray's to reflect.

7) Iron Dust
Iron particles spread over unproductive parts of the ocean cause photosynthetic plankton blooms. The plankton absorb carbon dioxide. When they die, they carry some carbon to the ocean bottom.

So those are few ideas how we can "cool" the earth, should anyone want to do that.
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Re: Environment

Post by Ringleader on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:14 am

They should mix things up, like have blimps that shoot 'sapling bullets' into the ground, like a tree machine gun.

Or painting boats with reflective paint.
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Re: Environment

Post by BBJynne on Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:10 am

water and air pollution are serious issues, and they cause health and environmental issues in short and long term. Basically everyone agrees with that though, so there isn't much to say there except whether it's worth it to do anything about it.

Man-made global warming, however, is iffy. I'm inclined to disagree with it simply because Al Gore is involved.

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Re: Environment

Post by PiEdude on Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:16 am

BBJynne wrote:water and air pollution are serious issues, and they cause health and environmental issues in short and long term. Basically everyone agrees with that though, so there isn't much to say there except whether it's worth it to do anything about it.

Man-made global warming, however, is iffy. I'm inclined to disagree with it simply because Al Gore is involved.

Damn BB, I didn't know there was a serious bone in your body.

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Re: Environment

Post by Rotaretilbo on Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:36 pm

I think that the environment is an issue we need to take care of. However, I believe that people come first. For example, because of the Global Warming scare, people started saying Advair was contributing to pollution, and that we should stop using it. At the time, Advair was the only medication available for people with serious asthma. Further, we've pretty much banned coal in third world nations like Africa, because it is a very dirty resource. However, because third world nations can't gain access to cheap energy, locals are forced to burn debris to stay warm at night. If you don't die from exposure, you die from lung disease later. I believe we should actively try to cut down on pollution, but after we've dealt with other issues.

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Re: Environment

Post by Ringleader on Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:18 pm

Yeah, almost all environmental pollution can be corrected, trash can be turned into plastic, and metal can be recycled, and air can be filtered.

I mean, how hard is it to put a filter over a car muffler? or a smokestack? Air pollution can be pumped into the ground, or converted into other chemicals.
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Re: Environment

Post by TNine on Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:42 pm

The sign of Global warming is extreme weather conditions. The Northeast had three times the annual snow fall this winter, and we are now suffering 57 mph wind (which is a lot around here).

On an unrelated note, we have also had the Chilean and Haiti earthquake. And i believe another bad one in China about a year ago.

Apparently, Mother Nature is pissed.
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Re: Environment

Post by Ruski on Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:58 pm



^ This is a huge concern in my book.

Not only does that affect the fish and aquatic life, it affects us as well.
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Re: Environment

Post by Kasrkin Seath on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:56 pm

hmm... what about running out of water?

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Re: Environment

Post by BBJynne on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:10 pm

Kasrkin Seath wrote:hmm... what about running out of water?

just build dams in the midwest and hoard the water for ourselves.
fuck the rest of America

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Re: Environment

Post by Toaster on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:00 pm

CivBase wrote:
Myself, I find Global Warming to be a joke. We've experienced one of the worst winters in Iowa this year and have consistently broken low temperature records all over the board. My school is even considering extending the day bay a half hour to account for our snow days. I'm sick of this "Global Climate Change" business; I mean, they can't even decide if the world's getting hotter or colder! Perhaps both? There's a word for that: Seasons.

Catastrophic global warming estimations might be a joke, but the string of logic that brought you to that conclusion is utterly wrong. No scientist ever claimed that the US would never again have a winter storm. No scientist ever claimed that record temperatures/snowfalls would never again be broken.

They claim that, over time, the Earth's climate (AKA general weather patterns, not freak incidents) will gradually get as little as a few degrees warmer, causing fragile ecosystems to experience some pretty destructive conditions. Water and ice is the difference between 32 and 33 degrees. A little change can change a lot.

As for whether or not those scientists are correct, I think they have the right concept. Green house gases trap in heat, thus making the Earth hotter. We have examples of this happening elsewhere. Look at Venus. Venus is hotter than mercury, even though it is further from the Sun. Why? Because Venus' atmosphere consists of 97% carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is a green house gas. Nature, as well as humans, pump enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. I think it's a pretty simple train of logic. The question is whether or not it's really that big of an issue, and personally, I don't think it is. The Earth is slowly getting hotter (or at least trapping in more heat from the sun,) and humans are somewhat responsible. I think that's pretty clear. However, I think the speed at which all of this is occurring is uncertain, and it's likely to have been greatly exaggerated by "researchers" and advocacy groups.

So.... it's an issue, but it may be a much less immediate issue than we've been led to believe.




Civ wrote:Our water and air in the US is also great. It's amazing how clear the Boundary Waters are... you can see almost twenty feet deep! Sure, countries like China need some work, but I think we worry way more than we should about our own pollution. We (the US) are fine where we are now.

I'm not very informed about this, but I would guess that our air and water is generally nice due to currently existing regulations, and could improve with additional regulation. However, I'm also not so sure that you're even correct about the US being all fine and dandy when it comes to pollution. Ever been to San Francisco?

Civ wrote:As for oil... I don't know much about that. I do know, however, that the US is very dependent on oil and needs to look into some other options. Wind? Solar? Nuclear? Ethanol? They all have great perspectives. I also think, however, that the (US) government should stay out of regulating fuel dependency on vehicles and other similar sorts of practices.

Yeah, oil supply is a HUGE issue, and it doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves. The world supply of cheaply attainable oil is running out. The last easily accessible oil supplies exist in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico, and those supplies won't last us very long.

In as little as 40 years (that's actually a pretty optimistic estimate) we're going to hit the peak of world wide oil production, and it'll all be down hill from there. Oil will become extremely expensive. While the Earth still harbors a pretty large amount of oil, deep ocean drilling costs billions and billions of dollars, and the methodology isn't even developed.

Unfortunately, when this does happen, we're really gonna be screwed. Oil isn't just what heats and lights our houses. It's not just what runs our cars. We use petroleum in just about everything. We use it with plastics, we use it to make every sort of computer component you can think of, we use it for rubber, we use it for pain killers, make-up, paint, detergent, wax, ink... and without petroleum based fertilizers, we wouldn't be able to produce nearly enough food to feed so many God damn people.

We use petroleum in just about everything these days.

The future is going to hit us hard.
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Re: Environment

Post by CivBase on Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:17 am

TNine wrote:The sign of Global warming is extreme weather conditions. The Northeast had three times the annual snow fall this winter, and we are now suffering 57 mph wind (which is a lot around here).
I've heard this excuse before. Please, feel free to explain. The last person that tried failed miserably.

How does a colder winter mean the earth is warming?

ReconToaster wrote:Catastrophic global warming estimations might be a joke, but the string of logic that brought you to that conclusion is utterly wrong. No scientist ever claimed that the US would never again have a winter storm. No scientist ever claimed that record temperatures/snowfalls would never again be broken.
I never claimed that they claimed this.

ReconToaster wrote:They claim that, over time, the Earth's climate (AKA general weather patterns, not freak incidents) will gradually get as little as a few degrees warmer, causing fragile ecosystems to experience some pretty destructive conditions. Water and ice is the difference between 32 and 33 degrees. A little change can change a lot.
But the problem is that these "incidents" are not isolated accidents. These are regularly occurring themes across the globe. The averages that these scientists waste their time with are almost random and point both directions. So... theoretically, with a perfect data set, the actual slope should be borderline-zero (when subtracting out the earth's natural warming and cooling cycle).

You know what the difference between absolute zero and water is? -460 to 32 (or 492 degrees for those of you who don't like math). You can't make a comparison when you only use one point, Recon. The amount of area that that one degree would effect is almost nothing.

ReconToaster wrote:As for whether or not those scientists are correct, I think they have the right concept. Green house gases trap in heat, thus making the Earth hotter. We have examples of this happening elsewhere. Look at Venus. Venus is hotter than mercury, even though it is further from the Sun. Why? Because Venus' atmosphere consists of 97% carbon dioxide.
We're an awfully long ways away from the amount of greenhouse gasses on Venus, though. The amount of gasses we have trapped is pathetically insignificant in comparison.

ReconToaster wrote:Carbon dioxide is a green house gas. Nature, as well as humans, pump enormous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. I think it's a pretty simple train of logic. The question is whether or not it's really that big of an issue, and personally, I don't think it is. The Earth is slowly getting hotter (or at least trapping in more heat from the sun,) and humans are somewhat responsible. I think that's pretty clear. However, I think the speed at which all of this is occurring is uncertain, and it's likely to have been greatly exaggerated by "researchers" and advocacy groups.
Agreed. People like to look at a single data set and then say that "science has proven that the earth is getting warmer". That's not science, that's politics.

ReconToaster wrote:I'm not very informed about this, but I would guess that our air and water is generally nice due to currently existing regulations, and could improve with additional regulation. However, I'm also not so sure that you're even correct about the US being all fine and dandy when it comes to pollution. Ever been to San Francisco?
San Francisco's pollution only effects the city which, in relation to the rest of the US, is very small. Our water and air pollution has decreased substantially over the past decade.

In fact, I think it was in the 1950s that a lack near Lake Erie was so polluted that it caught fire. WTF do you do when the water catches on fire?

ReconToaster wrote:Yeah, oil supply is a HUGE issue, and it doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves. The world supply of cheaply attainable oil is running out. The last easily accessible oil supplies exist in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico, and those supplies won't last us very long.
We definitely need to think about finding alternatives. However, I also believe that entirely hauling our oil consumption is unnecessary. We are making some great strives at new ways to generate power and if we keep up this pace, we'll be just fine.

ReconToaster wrote:In as little as 40 years (that's actually a pretty optimistic estimate) we're going to hit the peak of world wide oil production, and it'll all be down hill from there. Oil will become extremely expensive. While the Earth still harbors a pretty large amount of oil, deep ocean drilling costs billions and billions of dollars, and the methodology isn't even developed.
Forty years can mean a lot technologically, though. Forty years ago, the idea of instant communication across the world from a small little hand-held device was laughable. Now it's standard. That doesn't mean we should stop working on the issue, though.

ReconToaster wrote:Unfortunately, when this does happen, we're really gonna be screwed. Oil isn't just what heats and lights our houses. It's not just what runs our cars. We use petroleum in just about everything. We use it with plastics, we use it to make every sort of computer component you can think of, we use it for rubber, we use it for pain killers, make-up, paint, detergent, wax, ink... and without petroleum based fertilizers, we wouldn't be able to produce nearly enough food to feed so many God damn people.

We use petroleum in just about everything these days.

The future is going to hit us hard.
Very true. I hadn't thought of that.

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Re: Environment

Post by KrAzY on Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:02 am

Cold Fusion will solve everything when I get the damned government to agree to my terms of use


what I do with that private island outside of the boundary of US law... 700 billion dollars... two nuclear warheads... and a whole contingent of the worlds smartest minds is my business.
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Re: Environment

Post by PiEdude on Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:17 pm

Don't worry KrAzY, someday you'll be able to move out of your secret hideout in the subway tunnels of Metropolis.
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Re: Environment

Post by A_Bearded_Swede on Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:26 pm

CivBase wrote:
TNine wrote:The sign of Global warming is extreme weather conditions. The Northeast had three times the annual snow fall this winter, and we are now suffering 57 mph wind (which is a lot around here).
I've heard this excuse before. Please, feel free to explain. The last person that tried failed miserably.

How does a colder winter mean the earth is warming?



I believe it has something to do with the water currents.

With the ice caps melting and such, extra water can mess with our water currents.

For example, instead of North East America getting its awesome warmer water from the Caribbean it'll get the colder water from the Arctic.

With that, weather patterns will change, which could turn into some freak weather.

Been awhile since i touched up on the topic though.

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Re: Environment

Post by TNine on Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:11 pm

CivBase wrote:
TNine wrote:The sign of Global warming is extreme weather conditions. The Northeast had three times the annual snow fall this winter, and we are now suffering 57 mph wind (which is a lot around here).
I've heard this excuse before. Please, feel free to explain. The last person that tried failed miserably.

How does a colder winter mean the earth is warming?
A warmer winter across the globe is evidence that the earth is warming. Vancouver had no snow for the Olympics, remember? An out of wack winter in an area that generally gets only a little snow is evidence that this warming is having an effect on the enviornment. Or, it's just a coincidental bad snowstorm. We need a larger data pool before we can say anything.

The primary concern with Global Warming is actually that it will cause either severe flooding or another Ice Age. Mainly cause we don't know how the icecaps will react, in that a little melting may cause a large cloud, causing a rapid decrease in temperature and a huge kickback. A good although exaggerated example of this is "The Day after Tomorrow".
Civbase wrote:But the problem is that these "incidents" are not isolated accidents. These are regularly occurring themes across the globe. The averages that these scientists waste their time with are almost random and point both directions. So... theoretically, with a perfect data set, the actual slope should be borderline-zero (when subtracting out the earth's natural warming and cooling cycle).

You know what the difference between absolute zero and water is? -460 to 32 (or 492 degrees for those of you who don't like math). You can't make a comparison when you only use one point, Recon. The amount of area that that one degree would effect is almost nothing.
Okay, let's imagine that the earth has an average of exactly 100 degrees fairenheit at the equator and goes down to 0 degrees at the poles. These are obviously very off, but they are easy to work with.

So the earth's temperature was raised three degrees. Negligible in the US, right? But the areas of the earth that are normally 30-32 degrees are now 33-35 degrees. Congratulations, you just melted 10% of the world's glaciers, and the sea water levels have risen ten feet. Don't know about you, but my house is about eight feet above sea level. Others around me are much less than that. New York City is what? Fourty feet above sea level? So three more degrees and NYC is unliveable?

It is worth it to mention that i don't know the exact numbers, but the idea is still there. I'm fairly sure my numbers are pretty off, but the important thing is that there is a "freezing line", an area that averages exactly 32 degrees and sometimes gains a little and loses a little permafrost. The difference of a few degees could mean the loss of a few feet a year.

Oh yeah, i forgot. The new influx of cold water and additional area of the ocean has screwed up the Gulf Current. England is ten degrees colder now. Enjoy.
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Re: Environment

Post by Cheese on Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:54 pm

ReconToaster wrote:Unfortunately, when this does happen, we're really gonna be screwed. Oil isn't just what heats and lights our houses. It's not just what runs our cars. We use petroleum in just about everything. We use it with plastics, we use it to make every sort of computer component you can think of, we use it for rubber, we use it for pain killers, make-up, paint, detergent, wax, ink... and without petroleum based fertilizers, we wouldn't be able to produce nearly enough food to feed so many God damn people.

We use petroleum in just about everything these days.

The future is going to hit us hard.

Luckily the human race is quite adept when it comes to dealing with stuff like this.

Coming out of the middle ages the UK was experiencing a massive shortage of wood, seeing as the formally forested regions of England had been turned into furniture or fire. Prices soar, people panic, and just in time folks discover coal.

Several hundred years later, people start to realise that coal's consistency is also becoming fragile, and it is becoming harder and harder to mine. Luckily, the potential of oil is tapped and we get another energy revolution.

We're pretty lucky in this instance, seeing as we have plenty of viable alternatives that are just less convenient. At least this time we're not going to loose all of civilization entirely.

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Re: Environment

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